Russia in Syria: Enforcing superpower recognition

Assad and Putin (Picture Source and Copyright: http://foxtrotalpha.jalopnik.com)

Author: Johannes Sender

Russia’s military intervention into the Syrian civil war on the side of the Assad leadership has invoked much critique, especially by Western states. During the NATO defence minister meeting on October 8th, many accused Russia of bombing non-ISIS rebel groups on behalf of the Syrian government under Assad. The US defence minister Carter called actions by the Russian forces “increasingly unprofessional“. Many diplomats seem to think the same about Russia latest foreign policy, which they called “chaotic and without a clear aim”. They argue that the bombing of Assad’s non-ISIS enemies would not make the situation any easier and is not fulfilling a greater strategic goal. In this article, Johannes Sender, Master student of International Security and Law, argues that Russia’s foreign policy in Syria as well as in the Ukraine can be read to serve strategic interests: Challenging it’s status in the international order and forcing others to play along.

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Russia’s application of the Protection of Nationals Doctrine in Crimea in 2014

“Little Green Men” appearing in the streets of Simferopol, Crimea (Photo: AFP/GETTY)

Author: Michael R. Zieniewicz

Does Moscow have the right to intervene in other states in order to protect Russian speaking populations? Does the controversial doctrine of Protection of Nationals Abroad (PoN) really exist? In this article master’s student in International Security and Law, Michael R. Zieniewicz, examines whether international law leaves any space for the doctrine and whether the PoN has any place in the future of international relations.

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